Donald Trump won the presidency, and the Republicans will control both houses of Congress until at least the 2018 election. If you’re like me, you’ve hopefully shed your tears and are now ready to get to work. Here’s 44 concrete things you can do right now as ways to get started:
- Send a Thank You card to Hillary Clinton.
- Write or Call your existing congressional representatives, telling them about your concerns on a Trump presidency and specific policy issues that are important to you.
- Prepare a similar letter for future President Trump, as well, and send on Inauguration Day.
- Send emails/write letters to companies who advertise on Fox News, asking that they pull their advertising.
- If you de-friended someone on Facebook over their voting Trump? Reconsider. They need to hear your viewpoint if they’re ever going to change their mind.
- Call out “fake” news, claims and conspiracy theories whenever you see it, citing real news sources, fact-checking websites, and Snopes to debunk them.
- Volunteer to become a Voter Registrar in your state, and attend large events/festivals in your area where you can talk to people about registering to vote.
- Attend a City Council or School Board meeting in your town, or even better, start attending one regularly. Ask questions. Speak up in the public comment time periods. Regularly introduce yourself to your Council members.
- Lay the groundwork to run for office yourself in a local role like school board, city council, or other starter position: Texas women in particular should consider attending a training/event from Annie’s List; other state orgs promoting women candidates can be found via Emily’s List.
- Check whether any local- or state-level races in your area are headed for a run-off election. If so, mark the date on your calendar and tell your friends about the run-off as well.
Donate & Help Raise Funds
- Donate to worthwhile organizations that defend and legally advocate for the groups Trump has threatened:
- Planned Parenthood (Women)
- American Civil Liberties Union (All)
- Anti Defamation League (All)
- Human Rights Campaign (LGBTQIA)
- Local Appleseed Organizations for your state (Legal Advocacy) (Full disclosure, my Brother in Law is the Executive Director of Kansas Appleseed.)
- Council on American-Islamic Relations (Muslims)
- American Immigration Council (Immigrants)
- Better yet, set up a recurring monthly donation.
- If you donate, check with your employer to see if they will match your funds, and see what they require in terms of verification in order to do so.
- Can’t afford to donate? Set your Amazon Smile charity to donate to one of the above whenever you shop, and always shop through https://smile.amazon.com.
- Black Friday is coming. As much as possible, support minority-, women-, and LGBTQIA-owned small businesses in your community to do your holiday shopping.
- Volunteer for an organization working to assist sexual assault survivors, by working the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline, or for local organizations (like SafePlace in Austin).
- Volunteer to be an abortion clinic escort — you help women with appointments get from the parking lot to the building, often through a line of horrid protesters screaming obscenities.
- If you’re a lawyer, set a higher pro-bono goal for yourself for 2017 and dedicate a portion of your CLE hours to learning more on constitutional law and immigration law.
- Don’t stay at Trump hotels, golf at Trump golf courses, or gamble at Trump casinos.
- Don’t buy Ivanka Trump’s clothing, shoes, jewelry, or makeup lines.
- Don’t ride the Central Park carousel or use the Wollman ice skating rink in Central Park. (Both are operated by Trump.)
- Don’t stay, gamble or shop at The Venetian casino in Las Vegas, which is owned by Trump’s largest donor, Sheldon Adelson.
- Boycott movies and tv shows produced or distributed by 20th Century Fox (owner of Fox News) and its subsidiaries, including tv networks (Fox, FX, FSN, and National Geographic), current television shows produced by Fox (Son of Zorn, Bordertown), movies produced by Blue Sky Studios (most notably the Ice Age and Rio movies, also upcoming movie Ferdinand).
- Buy an electric vehicle or invest in solar panels for your house, so that you can boycott buying gas, thereby indirectly boycotting the Koch Brothers (who made their money off oil) and also decreasing the need for pipelines like the proposed Trans-Pecos Pipeline and the DAPL.
Self – Protection
- All married couples, but especially LGBTQIA individuals, should make sure to create a will or estate plan, and consider creating both legal and medical Power of Attorney documents for their spouse.
- Get your finances in order. If you have credit card debt, get yourself out of debt as quickly as possible (I recommend tactics such as those espoused by Mr. Money Mustache) and start setting aside whatever you can each month in order to build up an emergency fund that would cover your family’s expenses for at least a six-months period. (Not only is this just good, practical financial advice, but if you ever needed to use it to get out of the country in a hurry, you have it.)
- Get a passport for yourself any any children you may have, and renew any passports that are set to expire anytime in the next four years.
- If you don’t have the same last name as your children, make sure you have official copies of their birth certificates that list your name as a parent. If you are in a same-sex partnership and have children, make sure your child’s birth certificate lists both partners names, or have it amended if it does not.
- If you have a passport from another country, don’t let it expire.
- Take self-defense or martial arts classes. One study out of Canada shows that women who complete self defense classes experience 63% fewer attempted assaults and 46% fewer completed assaults that those who had not.
- If you have stock market investments, make sure your portfolio is properly diversified. You want a mixture not just of stocks, bonds, and cash, but also a mix between US markets, international market, and emerging markets. REITs and even Gold can be added as well to create stability. And if we do experience a market downturn thanks to Trump, remember the best thing you can do is not panic and stay invested, rather than pulling your money out when it’s down.
- If you rely on Obamacare for your healthcare – make an appointment for your annual physical, annual female exam, any another necessary appointments or treatments before the end of the year. Also, talk to your doctor about whether you can call in for prescription refills if you were to lose your health insurance.
- Women: if you’ve been considering getting an IUD for birth control, do it before the end of the year.
- Exercise. You can’t fight if you don’t have the strength and stamina to do so.
- Teach children about how to stand up to bullies, not just for themselves, but others who they may see targeted. Teach them that it’s never ok to try to hurt someone else’s feelings because they are different from us in some way. Practice this skill with them using role-playing or dolls.
- Make sure you (and your children) are up to date on all vaccines, including HPV and meningitis for teens and 20-somethings, Hepatitis A & B for adults, and pneumonia and shingles vaccines for seniors. You should also get a tetanus shot every 10 years, and a flu shot yearly.
- If you are able to choose an HSA type healthplan through work, do so now, and contribute as much as you can up to the annual limit into the fund. Whenever possible, do not use this fund to pay for current health expenses, instead creating a rainy-day fund for yourself in case you encounter non-covered health expenses in the next four years.
- Join or start a monthly feminist book club.
- Learn Spanish (so that you can help rally Hispanic voters for 2018).
- Get a PAID subscription to news organizations that are still doing comprehensive in-depth investigative journalism like the New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, etc.
- Add a non-US based news site like the BBC, aljazeera.net, or RT.com to your daily news site list in order to get an outside perspective.
- Read the Quran, so that you can knowledgeably rebuff any Islamophobia you may encounter.
- If your workplace offers them, join an Employee Resource Group for minority or women employees, (even if you’re not a minority or woman!) and listen to what they have to say.
- Travel internationally — because travel helps us to better understand that while we may be different, we’re all humans and most of us want the same things.
And most of all? VOTE & VOLUNTEER FOR PROGRESSIVE CANDIDATES IN 2018.
Finally, as Obama said, don’t become cynical. This may have been the most disappointing election of your life, but four years can fly by if you use it being an ally for groups that most need it. Good luck to all of us.